Torrance, California -- Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. said 29 Jan that it would launch a safety recall with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) involving about 134 900 Yaris vehicles sold in the US.
The Yaris has pretensioners that retract the seat belts on the front seats, to begin absorbing the occupant's forward momentum when a severe frontal impact is detected, explained the Japanese car maker. Toyota has determined that, on 2006 through 2007 model year Yaris, deployment of these pretensioners may affect the sound-insulating foam in the centre pillar, following a collision.
There are no reported cases of this condition in the US, and no other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved.
Toyota said it will notify owners of the involved vehicles by first-class mail beginning early February. Owners should contact their local Toyota dealer for repair, which will take about an hour.
Press reports indicate that, worldwide, this issue affects some 1.35 million Toyota models based on the Yaris -- called variously Vitz and Ractis -- which would also be recalled for repair.